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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 27 March 2001
I am not a typical planty person and so after recieving this book as a present, I was not sure if I'd appreciate it. How wrong I was, it deals with many aspects of plants, such as there need to reproduce, to travel, to feed etc. But it looks at them as if they were an animal in there hunger to survive. Altogether an exceptional read, offering a beautiful way to understand plants.
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on 26 August 1999
An excellent book, detailing the wonder of the plant kingdom and the different adaptations made to be the species which not only survives but thrives. The pictures are beautiful and clear. Buy the video too - the narration and time lapse photography are both excellent.
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on 7 April 2014
Bought this for our granddaughter and she is over the moon about it. She is doing Biochemistry (Maths, Chemistry and Biology) at school and after seeing David Attenborough's programme on TV she has taken a keen interest. We also bought some DVDs for her and she has watched these and been reading the book. Was over the moon when she saw it had been signed.
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on 15 March 2013
not only is attenborough a good presenter he is also a gripping writer

plants have stories and these stories have unexpected surprises waiting around the corner

this is a great read, beautifully presented and very well written
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on 20 December 2010
This is such an awesome book, as equally awespome as the series that it accompanies.

It was the series that got me into plants, openning my eyes to just how amazing plants really are.

This book is a wonderfully interesting and educating read on it's own, but I do highly recomend watching the TV series as well as reading the book.

The language is wonderfully accessable, with out being overly simple. David Attenborough is a wonderful teacher and writer.
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on 9 April 2012
David Attenborough makes the point right at the start of The Private Life of Plants that plants aren't boring, they just live on a different timescale than us humans. With this book he thoroughly justifies this; plants travel thousands of miles by their seeds, crawl and brawl over each other with plants such as brambles engaging in open warfare with their competitors, and trick a panoply of animals into pollinating them or dispersing their seeds. There are so many fascinating plants in this book it is difficult to say which is my favourite; I like the window plant which stays submerged in the desert to conserve water and channels light to its photosynthesising cells via clear crystals of oxalic acid. I also like the sequoias just for their sheer size. I guarantee that if you read this book you will never look at plants in the same way again!

If you found this review helpful, why not check out other books that I like:
Fish Stocks Limited (The Infinity Fish Trilogy)
3+3
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on 17 February 2012
Here is yet another example of Attenborough's unique skill of communicating information to us in a truly comprehensible fashion. As has come to be expected, Attenborough utilises the most up to date photographic technology to suitably accompany the text. Focusing largely on the botanical adaptations of plans to overcome the problems that the challenge of 'living' presents, this book gives a good solid dive into a broad introduction into the most interesting and extreme parts to one of the most enthralling aspects of science.
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'The Private Life of Plants' delivers another amazing book by Attenborough looking at plant behaviour that aids in their survival. Like all of his books his style is extremely easy to read and you are soon drawn in to the fascinating lives of the various plants he describes and you are left in awe at the tenacity and diversity of these seemingly inanimate species. Throughout the book you get one page of text and another full page of the most stunning photography you are ever likely to see and occasionally you'll get a double spread for a particularly impressive image. This looks at plant behaviour in relation to gaining nutrients, reproduction, fighting(!), coexisting with other plants and animals and a whole range of other traits besides. As part of the Attenborough collection of books this really can't be missed. It is also well worth a look in it's own right and makes for a couple days of informative and completely engrossing reading. The wonder of nature and the fascinating life of plants has rarely been so well presented, and yet we've become so used to that from Attenborough that anything less would be a let down. This more than lives up to this high standard.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 10 April 2009
This is the authors first "Life Of" books and sets a pattern for those that followed.
The main point made in this well written and researched book is that plants enjoy many of the activities of animals but on a totally different timescale that can stretch to decades or centuries.The author delves into characteristics and secrets of plants that most people never give a second thought e.g. travel and parasitism.
There are 6 main chapters covering a)travel-how plants can travel over long distances b)feeding and growing-the necessityof light and water c)flowering - illustrations from the smallest bloom to the giant Tilam arum
d)the social struggle-the fight for plants to survive in various environments e) living together-the association of plants and animals particularly in the water environment and f)surviving-how plants need water, light,warmth and minerals to survive.
The pictures are good but the source of photographs p312-3 is very badly laid out.
A book to be recommended
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on 16 February 2014
This is the book version of David Attenborough's TV series “The Private Life of Plants”. Books like these were indispensable in the good ol' days before the World Wide Web. All the highlights of the show are here: bristlecone pines (one of these trees is 5000 years old?!), strangler figs (only 500 years old – tssk, tssk), an underground orchid in West Australia, the giant water lily of the Amazon, carrion flowers (guess what they smell like), the Venus fly trap, plants fooling insects into “mating” with them, etc etc. Some fungi have been thrown in for good measure, too, although fungi aren't really plants (well, not anymore). Good if you like plants, including the slightly absurd varieties. Probably a total waste of time otherwise…
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